Thursday, December 11, 2008

Success and failure

So I blew it. Well, maybe not blew it, per se. Almost made it. I needed a 7 or higher to pass the final exam to get my QKA certification...and I got a 6. Almost makes me wish I'd never come close, like gotten a 3. But to come close and fail, that was a kick to the stomach. But I know now what I didn't know a few hours ago (meaning I know which things I didn't know, not that I know all about them). But yeah. Hopefully I'll get another shot at this when the next testing window comes around next spring, and even more hopefully, that I don't need to get another textbook. But even if I do, I have a better idea of what I need to study, and what I need to do to make time to study, even with a lovely wife, 2 great (if occasionally noisy) kids, a busy church calling, and a home that constantly needs tending.

Speaking of home, I had a minor success here tonight. Lisa's out at Relief Society Enrichment, so it was just me and the kids. I got them fed, played around with them for a bit, got Asher through a bath, got Leah to fall asleep in record time, had a great time reading Ash's alphabet book with him, listened to him say his prayers (he's actually saying his own now, even if it's just hello-thanks-amen) and laid him down, all by 8:15. When I came downstairs, I couldn't help but feel pretty good about the good evening I'd just had with my kids. And that's when it hit me - to paraphrase Harold B. Lee, no worldly failure can negate success in the home. It didn't matter to my kids that I failed my test. As long as I was where they needed me to be, that's all that mattered. And, when it all comes down to it, that's all that really mattered at all. Thanks Asher and Leah for teaching your old man something. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Heckuva day

I had a really crappy day yesterday. Well, half day I guess, work didn't go too badly. Lisa and I ordered some baby pictures from this company, Our365, that came to the hospital and took some cute baby shots of Leah. They did a followup shoot a couple weeks ago at our house, and we were excited to see how they turned out. So the guy calls up last night and shows us our pics online, and they were fantastic! Asher looked so happy, and Leah was so smiley and happy and adorable, it just melts your heart to see such a cute baby (at least it did mine, and I'm completely unbiased). Then we got to the part where we see how much this will set us back - and my jaw hit the floor. The cheapest package, with all of five pictures, was $170!! The cheapest package that included a CD (which would give us the copyrights on the pictures) was almost $400! I couldn't believe they could charge that much. It was an outrage - to take such great pictures of my kids, and hold them hostage with a price that was WAY out of our range, unless we wanted to blow our entire Christmas budget on only pictures. Lisa just started crying after we hung up, she soooooo wanted those pictures and to not be able to afford even the cheapest package was upsetting to say the least.

But then, the real kicker came. Lisa got a call from a friend of ours in our ward. She wanted Lisa's help in getting caught up on her scrapbooking, saying "I'd like to get it done before I die." Lisa said "yeah, I know how you feel." And her friend said "No, I'm dying. The doctors gave me until December." She has leukemia, which we knew about and thought was in remission. Apparently it's back, and now it's spread, even to her bones. She's a young mom, not even 30, with a 2 year old and a 1 year old. All night I kept thinking "how is her husband going to raise those kids alone? How are they dealing with this?"

Lisa went visiting teaching that night, so I had the kids by myself until about 11, and they were NOT happy. They kept crying and waking up, one after another, even both crying at the same time once or twice. And every time I'd get frustrated, I'd picture my friend, doing this alone every night without his wife to relieve or help or comfort him or the kids, and I'd find the patience to keep holding my kids and comforting them. The only solace in the whole situation came from knowing about eternal families. Lisa and I were there when they got sealed in the temple, bound eternally as husband and wife. Knowing that makes ALL the difference, at least to me. Knowing that, as long as I keep the commandments and treat my family like I should, I will have them forever, no matter how long or short I have them here. My friend will have his wife again, whether she lives to December or to 2048 (which I hope is at least the case). Our thoughts and prayers are with them, but we also know that death is not the end of life. And that helps.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A bittersweet election day

Well, the big day is finally over, and I'm relieved, if not completely satisfied. McCain lost, big surprise there. It's his own fault, really. He didn't start to play hardball with Obama until a week before the election. By then, it was already over. Sarah Palin was the only reason he got as many votes as he did. Hopefully she'll be back in 2012 to try and take back the Republican party from all the liberals and quasi-liberals that have taken it over.

The one really good thing (and about the only one) was the passing of Proposition 8 in California, along with similar measures in Arizona, Flordia, and Arkansas. All the angry protests and picketing can't change the fact that a majority (even if it was a slim majority) approved the traditional definition of marriage. It's ironic that there are so many angry and hate-filled protests with people chanting 'stop the hate'. Their cause would gain a lot more credibility with people if it didn't have so many fanatical nutjobs behind it. Not that I want it to do so, I really hope the traditional family continues to be the fundamental unit of our society. But they certainly aren't going to make many converts with angry rallies and hate-filled protests.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

6 Random Things

Normally I don't post twice in the same day, but I got tagged reading a friend's blog. So here's 6 random things:

1. I've always wondered (since high school at least) if the whole 'coochie coochie coo' thing with babies comes from the fact that the Japanese word for mouth is kuchi (coochie)

2. Somewhere on this earth, there is a woman giving birth every three seconds. She must be found and stopped.

3. This guy is awesome ---------------------->

4. I spend WAY too much time on Facebook, I know that, but it's fun. You meet really cool people, get into interesting dicussions, and get to tell people about stuff you read on a 'social networking site' instead of crummy old Myspace.

5. I love looking at old documents - black and white family photos, ship passenger lists, census records, anything - that my ancestors appear in. It helps feel connected to them, and realize that they were real, living people, doing the same thing I'm doing - just living.

6. In a fight between Megatron and Gandalf, Megatron would win hands down. I mean, yeah, Gandalf has powerful magic and took on a Balrog, but I doubt magic could withstand a blast of concentrated energy from a fusion cannon.

7. I tag anyone reading this blog. You're it!!


We were taught in priesthood/relief society a week or two ago from the Joseph Smith manual that suffering prepares us for the celestial kingdom. I got to thinking, if heaven is a place of peace, rest, and happiness, how would experiencing suffering and pain prepare me for that? I had two thoughts on it -
1. Suffering keeps us humble. It teaches/reminds us that we need God and each other to get through this life, that we can't make it home on our own steam.
2. It's part of the opposition of all things. The suffering we experience, and see others go through, shows us how precious life is, how rare true happiness is, and how great and plentiful our blessings really are. I mean, how often do I thank God for my health? Usually right after I get over a cold or flu or something, but then it slips my mind until I get sick again. Or for my home, or a fully functioning body, or even my family? I hate to say it, but it's probably my suffering that keeps me on the straight and narrow.

I hope someday to get to the point where I'll just stay on the path back home, without having to be dragged back on track kicking and screaming.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This is where it all hits the fan

Is it just me, or are things spiraling out of control faster every day? The stock market drops day after day after day; Iran and North Korea are working overtime on building nukes, while thumbing their noses at the rest of the world for telling them to stop; the government screwing up the stock market with their 'fixes' and now trying to take over some of our banks; and Obama getting closer to being president, even though he's got the wrong position on just about every topic there is - abortion, immigration, war on terror, health care, gay marriage, gun control, AND he is (or at least was recently) buddy-buddy for decades with hatemongers like Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Flegher and an avowed an unrepentant terrorist! Add all that to the cases of voter fraud already popping up in at least 8 states, a worldwide economic crisis, and the fact that I have to wait until January before season 2 of Transformers: Animated comes out on DVD, and we're talking serious problems here.

So with all this going on, what can we do about it? Not a whole lot, as far as I can tell. I can't fix the government (nor can McCain or Obama, regardless of what they say). I can't tell other countries how they should be run or by whom (though we all know Ahmedinejad needs to be ousted and SOON). But I can hold on to my family and the gospel, teach my kids right from wrong (and that there is right from wrong) and try to live within my means so when times get worse (and I think they will) we'll still be able to keep our heads above water. Even if the whole world goes to pot, we can still be happy in our own sphere. Men are that they might have joy, after all. So don't shut out what's going on in the rest of the world, we still need to stay aware of it, but don't let it become an obsession. Let your family's happiness and security be your main concern, and we'll all come out of this all right, even if it's not until the Millennium that things really settle down.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where does the time go?

Can you believe it? My little girl is 4 weeks old today!! On Friday, she'll be a month! I still feel like she just came home yesterday. We had a minor miracle with her this week - she slept for 6 1/2 hours! I actually got to sleep from midnight till 6:30 without waking up once. Of course, the next night she woke up at 3, and last night she woke up at 2, but still! We're getting there. I still feel amazed and a little in disbelief that she's actually my child. I'm still trying to find that magic balance between family, work, church, and recreation, though that'll probably continue for the rest of my life at this rate. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Leah is here!!

Ok, I'm gonna try and post pictures of my beautiful little girl here. Wish me luck!

Let me know if this works and you can see them!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

May I have your attention please!

I am pleased to announce the birth of the newest member of the Gibson family: Leah Michelle Gibson! She was born at 10:29 pm, September 3, 2008, weighing 8 lbs 5.6 oz, was 20 1/2 inches long, and looks beautiful! She has a head full of light brown hair and dark blue eyes. I've never posted a picture to my blog, so I'll try and figure out how to do that in the next couple days (I'll be off work until next Wednesday so I'll hopefully have the time, in between feedings and diaper changes, and taking care of Asher). Both mommy and baby are doing great, and we expect to head home sometime tomorrow. The birth went perfectly, and she is adjusting to life outside the womb very quickly. She only cries when she needs a diaper changed or wants to eat (both of which she has done plenty of in the last 12 hours!) and is just a quiet, peaceful little girl. Thanks to everyone who's offered congratulations and prayers for us, they are very much appreciated. I'm very excited to show off our cute little girl, so be prepared to be bombarded with pictures and stories about how great and cute she is!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The end is near...

Ok, since I'm getting busier again, and I can't seem to remember to bring my journal with me to work, I'm going to have to publish these thoughts here. We're in the last few days (maybe even hours) before our baby is born, and I wanted to jot down how things are going. We're excited, first of all! I can't believe I get to be a father to another little spirit, a baby girl this time. All those same anxieties and worries that came up before Asher was born are coming back, with new thoughts of 'where will the second crib go?' and 'how will Ash react to having a sister?' and 'do I even remember how to hold a baby that small?' I feel confident in our ability to care for her, as Ash is still kicking and doing very well. :) It's just...I made so many mistakes with Asher (and am still making them!) and I want to do better as a father with Asher. Can I keep from making those same mistakes over with Leah? I love Asher, he's my little buddy and the greatest little kid I've ever known, and I hope I can love Leah just as much.

More than anything though, I find myself getting increasingly frustrated with the world around me - watching family members struggle with financial and other issues, the idea that someone like Obama could become president, that gas prices could go back up to unaffordable at the drop of a hat, that even members of the church don't seem to be understanding how vitally important protecting traditional marriage is, and many other issues. Don't get me wrong, I have great hopes and excitement for the future. I just wonder how I can convey that hope and excitement to my kids, and not focus so much on the negatives like I've been doing the last few months. I want to do better, especially with Family Home Evenings. I think those will be the key to grounding my kids in the gospel and showing them that we not only believe it, we live it. I have had some success in that area recently, and the FHE packets coming out from Primary are a HUGE help too. But I feel best when I'm teaching Asher and Lisa and myself about Joseph Smith's role as prophet of the restoration, or about temples, or reading scriptures together. I'll try to focus on doing that better in the next few weeks (we'll have plenty of time during those sleepless nights!) and see how things go.

I'm so grateful for the chance to even BE a dad. I know lots of guys don't get that opportunity, or waste it when they do get it. SO many stories have come up lately about terrible, terrible things happening to kids, and I just wish I could reach out and pull those kids into my home and keep them there. But I can't do that. What I can do is put my arms around those little ones that I do get to have in my home, and love them and raise them the best I can. I try to do that with Ash, tell him regularly what a good boy he is, and how much we love him. He's so smart - how many 2 year-olds do you know that can count to 40, know shapes, colors, can recite the alphabet and recognize letters on sight, AND can recognize Mickey Mouse characters, Thomas and friends characters, can recite lines from movies and tv shows (mostly Cars) and - most importantly - knows an Autobot and Decepticon symbol when they see one? :D Most of that's due to Lisa, she's done a fantastic job teaching him at every opportunity, and getting him to love reading books (though I take credit for teaching him about dinosaurs and Transformers, even if he calls every single yellow car he sees Bumblebee).

Aside from paternity anxiety, everything is going well. I love being a ward mission leader, seeing the missionaries bringing people to church, and then seeing the ward wrap their arms around and welcome new people into the ward is just the best. I'm also priveleged to work with our good bishop and the ward council, and I can honestly say they love the people in our ward and do everything they can to strengthen and support them. I've learned a lot from them over the last 5 months or so, and look forward to continue working in this calling and bringing people into and back into church.

Well, this has gone on for longer than I'd anticipated. If you've read this all the way through, email me and I'll send you a consolation gift. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I saw this on a friend's blog thought it was fun so here you go.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you, if you don't have a blog, I'll leave a comment on mine about you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Passage to Zarahemla - the review!

Well we watched Passage to Zarahemla, directed by Chris Heimerdinger. Honestly, the previews made it look almost hokey, and I went in (sadly) expecting something much less than it could have been. Boy was I wrong! The movie is exceptionally well done, well-acted, and the effects are very good. Even knowing the story (I read the book when it came out a couple years ago), the action sequences still had me in suspense (and I was more than a little surprised at the intensity of the action). Overall I was very pleased with the final product, and look forward to seeing more movies from Heimerdinger Productions. After the next Tennis Shoes book is finished, of course. :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Moral Freefall

ATTENTION: The following Brandt's Rant you are about to read is likely very long, nonsensical, and has nothing to do with anything. You have been warned.

So I've been thinking lately about the direction our country is going. There's a couple things that have really got me concerned:

How much power a few judges have in overturning laws approved by millions of people;

how close things are in the Middle East are to erupting into full-out war;

the fact that our country is giving a person with 2 years of national government experience (and not much else worth mentioning on his resume) a 50-50 shot at running the country;

and, like all the rest of you, how much gas is costing me now, and the prospect of paying even more in the weeks and months to come.

I don't know which of these bugs me more. The judge problem is a big one, as evidenced by California's overturning of a state-approved ban on gay marriage. If 60% of the population of a super-liberal state like Cali can vote to ban gay marriage, what right do 4 stupid judges have to overrule that? Hopefully Proposition 8 will pass and settle the matter once and for all.

The most telling 'sign of the times' though is this little nugget of wisdom from Wicca is a nature-based religion based on respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons. (,2933,389281,00.html)
Last I checked, Wicca was witchcraft, not some tree-hugging frolic in the meadows. But our society is so bent on tolerating everything from illegal immigration to providing rights to TERRORISTS, to promoting same-gender marriage as 'equal' and a 'right' that we can't call evil what it is - evil. And if we start tolerating more and more and finding nice fuzzy words for things we know are bad for us, pretty soon everything will be so skewed no one will know up from down. Not my kids though. I'm going to teach them there IS a right and there IS a wrong, and no warm-fuzzy PC hogwash should convince them otherwise.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Free book!

I saw on Anne Bradshaw's blog that if I put a nice blurb about her contest, a link to her awesome website (, and posted on her blog, I could win a free book. So here's my blurb - I love free stuff, and this contest is for a free book, which I've been dying to find one I could really get into. Hope I win!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Veddy Interesting...

So I found this old online journal I started a few years ago. Turns out, I only ever made one entry in it, and it happened to be night I met my wife. :) How cool is that? Here it is, in all its glory:
Ok, so get this. I found out there was a dance tonight out in Tacoma, 15 miles or so south of here, starting after I get off work. So I went down, just to hang out. I was thinkin of just sitting it out the whole night, actually. I didn't really want to dance, just to be out around good, fun entertainment for a night. Then this girl Carol asks me to dance, and she's a total goofball, we had a lot of fun dancing. She intro'd me to her friends, we chatted for a sec, and then she disappeared with one of her buddies. So I walk around for a sec, and see a guy, Pat Hampton, that I knew back in high school. I went over to say hi, and he introduces me to the two girls next to him, Emily (his gf) and Lisa (friend of his gf). So Lisa and I started talking, and we just hit it off. We kept talking, and talking, the rest of the night. It was so fun, and so unexpected. I'd gone to this dance specifically wanting to avoid meeting someone, and BOOM I meet someone. We ended up hanging out the rest of the dance, and talking for an hour or so afterwards, then I drove her home (Pat and Em had to leave early). Lisa's 20, cute, and funny, a great dancer too. She goes to BYU-I, majoring in art, and even draws for Chris Heimerdinger! How cool is that? I got her number, and I'm thinkin of askin her to the Federal Way dance tomorrow night. So funny, how these things work out. You look and look and look for something, and the minute you decide NOT to look, you find it. So yeah, just had to get that down. It's late, and I'm goin to the temple with some friends from my ward tomorrow, so I better get some sleep. Till next time, g'night!

Friday, May 2, 2008

What can I say? I love controversy

After reading a discussion on abortion in an LDS discussion group, I realized I wanted to define, for myself if for no other reason, exactly why I was so against abortion. There are many, even in the church I'm finding, that don't see embryos and fetuses as human life - one kid went so far as to ascribe the mourning and loss a mother feels over a miscarriage as the same sense of disappointment any "organism" would feel over the loss of a potential offspring (though he's in high school, so I can't hold too much against him, due to lack of experience). This was my response to that remark:

So that's all we are, huh? "Organisms"? Just meat sacks that feel bummed when our offspring doesn't survive? We are fundamentally different from all other life - we are spirit offspring of God, everything else is His creation. That puts our thoughts and emotions on a very different level than a cat or an elephant or something. And as a parent I can tell you that children in the womb are VERY MUCH alive. I've seen them move, suck their thumbs, play with their toes, all while still developing in the womb. They even get hiccups in there. They are just as much human and alive as you and I. Any attempts to define them as otherwise are, in my opinion, misguided notions that come from the adversary. Who else would want us to deny spirits the right to life? Who else delights as much in the destruction of human life, regardless of the stage of development it's in?

Now in saying this, I know there are some cases where abortion is allowed in the church - if the mother's life is deemed to be in severe jeopardy by competent medical authorities, or if the pregnancy is due to rape or incest. I can understand why those pregnancies would be terminated. But it's the "this pregnancy is inconvenient" or "I was irresponsible" abortions that I'm talking about above. Satan knows that if he can convince us that human life isn't human until it's born (not that everyone one in the world is on board with even that idea), if he can sidetrack us from remembering the value that God places on the lives of His children (D&C 18 says the worth of souls is great in the sight of God), then things like abortion become acceptable in the eyes of the world. I hope one day the world will see what a great error of judgment they are making in allowing abortions like this to happen.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Honesty and Hatred

This whole Rev. Wright problem of Obama's has had me thinking recently about hatred and honesty. I'm starting to wonder if an honest person can have hatred - I mean pure, unadulterated, out-and-out hatred. Wright has hatred, there's no doubt about that. You listen to him, and he rants and raves about the government creating AIDS to kill blacks, or importing hard drugs to imprison blacks, or engaging in terrorism worldwide. That's hate speech. Yet at the same time, it's all bogus. There's not one shred of proof for any of those claims. So why does he believe them? Why does he hate so much? It reminds me of the Lamanites hating the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. Their hatred was based on lies too - "Nephi tried to usurp power", "Nephi wronged us as we were crossing the sea", "Nephi stole to brass plates from us", etc. They told these lies to encourage their children and grandchildren to hate the Nephites, to promote murder, plunder, and warfare against them.
Now Wright may not be advocating open warfare, but he has made pretty good money on selling DVDs of his sermons (including the hate speech ones). He's also said that those who criticize him for his hateful remarks aren't attacking him, but all black churches in general. That's another lie, since not all black churches teach what he teaches, nor is he the spokesman for all black preachers. So he's using his dishonesty to:

1. make money
2. justify his hate speech
3. put the focus of criticism off himself so he can continue to do 1 and 2.

What would an honest person need hatred for? Those who are prejudiced aren't being honest, as they are falling for a stereotype of a race/ethnic group/religion that is almost always categorically false. Those who hold grudges/seek revenge against someone usually end up distorting the events that caused the grudge in order to continue hating the person. So what purpose does hatred serve for an honest person? From what I can see, none.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A little scrutiny

I had an interesting thought about Barack Obama the other day. When I think back now about how reluctant Obama was to hold interviews and allow press coverage of his remarks and events, it makes sense. Imagine if the Rev. Wright story had broken a year ago - he would not be where he is today if people knew how closely tied to that hate-monger he really is. Or if he'd let slip a remark like "Bitter-gate" before the primaries begun, he'd be where Kucinich and all the other has-beens are now. And now that the mainstream press has their hands full trying to figure out how to spin all these controversies in his favor (since they're all in the tank for him), he's dead in the water. This squeaky clean image of change and hope is washing away, and the TRUE Obama is coming out - the Obama that's every bit the politician that Clinton is; the Obama that hangs out with and is bosom buddies with people who hate their country enough to bomb it, or preach vile hate-filled sermons against it; the Obama who publicly says one thing and privately does the opposite. THAT is who he really is. I only hope enough Americans get to see it before the November elections.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I was reading the March issue of the Ensign (the magazine produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) on my lunch break today, and was very impressed with the power of the articles and stories. Every single page was filled with testimony of the Savior, of His church, of His scriptures, and of His prophets. Over and over again, from apostles and prophets down to ordinary members, people bore witness of the Savior, of His divine mission, and His restored gospel in this church. I really felt the Spirit as I read, it confirmed my own testimony of my Savior, this church, of our current prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and of Joseph Smith.
Then after work, I watched a few videos on YouTube the church has put up, where Elders Ballard, Cook, and Nelson talk about some of the questions people have about the church. Again I felt that same Spirit testify to me that what they were saying was true. Their testimonies were simply stated, but powerful. I hope, as I help others learn about the gospel, that I can bear testimony like they did - simple and yet powerful.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A God of Miracles

Last night I had one of the most amazing, humbling experiences in my life. The missionaries had asked me to come with them to visit a family in our ward who is currently hosting a couple of foreign exchange students, one of whom is Japanese. The prospect of sharing the gospel with someone in Japanese is always exciting to me, having served my mission in Japan some 9 years ago. The "visit" turned out to be a birthday party for Ayumi, the Japanese exchange student. It was loud and well attended, so I didn't try talking to Ayumi or her friend (another Japanese exchange student) right away (my hearing aids were magnifying EVERYthing so it was almost impossible to talk to anyone anyways). But after a bit, the mom kindly pushed me over to where they were talking, and we struck up a conversation. Now I haven't used my Japanese all that much in the last 6 years or so, so normally I would have been a bit rusty and stuttery at first. But last night, I was able to jump right into talking to them. It was amazing! We chatted about their experiences here in America, a car crash Ayumi's friend was in the night before (the car had rolled!) what they thought of American schools and people versus Japanese, lots of things. Later on, after Ayumi's friend and her hosts had left, the missionaries talked to Phillip (a German exchange student also staying with the family) about the gospel, and I interpreted for Ayumi. Again, normally my interpreting skills are much worse than normal conversation (the MTC asked me to interpret twice while I was in college, and I did horribly both times), but I was blessed to be able to keep up with them and translate for Ayumi, even when looking up scriptures at the same time. It was the same gift of tongues I was blessed with as a missionary. The Lord never took that gift away when I came home, as I had previously feared. When the need is there, and I am willing and humble enough, the gift returns. Now I know I need to keep up on my Japanese, not just for my own personal gratification, but because if these kind of situations come up again, the Lord can use me to teach others His gospel. I need to be humble and righteous enough to be worthy of the gift. I look forward to sharing the gospel more, it feels so GOOD when I do!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama, Wright, and Hatred

Today, in speaking about his connection with radical race-hater Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama said he disagreed with the former pastor's remarks, "just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed." My religious leaders never preached race hatred. Or compared our government to Al Qaeda. Or called upon God to curse and destroy this (or any other) nation. Or used vulgar and offensive language from the pulpit. Or said the HIV/AIDS virus was created as a weapon against blacks. Rev. Wright has done all of that. And Obama goes to him for spiritual leadership??? That he can't disown him any more than he disown his grandma? Can't disown him, or won't? If any "friend" of mine had views like that, and openly and aggressively tried to spread them, they wouldn't be a friend of mine for very long. That goes against everything I stand for. Apparently Obama doesn't have any problem being friends with an America-hater, a promoter of racial hatred. I wonder what he'd do if a member of his cabinet started talking like this while on official business? Or if his wife started talking like this while talking to other world leaders. Would he condemn their remarks as well? Or just say "well, I don't agree but I can't disown them." Obama better realize America will soon disown him if he doesn't disown his reverend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Customer (dis)service

Just a thought for all you customer service people out there. If you have a customer asking a question about your product, and they misunderstand something - pricing, description, whatever - even if they grossly misunderstand you, don't laugh at them. I had that happen to me today. The sales rep was showing off the merchandise, and I misunderstood the pricing (in my defense, he had two pricetags on there) and when I asked if the product's price was the lesser of the two, he just outright laughed in my face, saying "For all THIS? Get real!" Safe to say I probly won't ever shop there again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where's Al Qaeda?

Apparently Senator Obama didn't know that Al Qaeda was in Iraq already. Or maybe he just forgot. In his last debate will Hillary, he said "And if Al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad.”
So, here's a scenario: Let's say Al Qaeda is already there in Iraq, threatening our interests. Let's say we've been fighting them for a few years. And, just for kicks, let's say we're kicking their butts. What's your call as President, Obama? How will you protect the homeland? By withdrawing troops! Wow, now THAT'S a winning strategy - put our heads in the sand, and "hope" (that's your campaign's call sign isn't it? Hope?) that they either don't see us, or just don't see us as a threat and walk on by. And if they do happen to attack us again, you'll just have a tea party with Osama bin Laden and Ahmedinajad and "hope" your way to peace.

Here's what I "hope": that Obamamaniacs realize they are just being duped by a still-wet-behind-the-ears senator who can give good speeches without really promising anything except "hope" and "change;"
that Americans will vote for the one candidate that will actually DO something about Al Qaeda BEFORE they attack again - John McCain;
and that Hillary realizes her "hopes" of becoming president have been dashed completely, and starts up a reality show called "Let's Change Washington" where they kick one (maybe two or three?) congressman out each week until they show they can actually get something done.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What is honesty worth?

Super Tuesday turned out to be a big disappointment. I'm pulling for Romney in the presidential race, mostly because he's the only candidate I can actually trust. There has been at least one major case of dishonesty, public dishonesty, for both McCain and Huckabee, with no sign of an apology or clarification from either one. McCain, in a television ad right before the last debate before Super Tuesday, claimed that Romney was in favor of troop withdrawal dates from Iraq. The truth is Romney has been nothing if not against troop pullout dates, and only stated that he agreed there need to be benchmarks and milestones set. McCain purposely distorted Romney's statement and gave him no time to challenge or correct it before the debate. When challenged at the debate, McCain continued lying (on national TV!!) and stood by his slanderous ad. And people want this person to be president???
Then there's Huckabee. A few weeks ago, he was asked in an interview what he knew about Mormons (seeing as how his biggest rival at the time was Mitt Romney, a Mormon). His claim was he didn't know much. That's very interesting, considering he was the KEYNOTE SPEAKER at annual Baptist convention in 1998, which happened to be in Salt Lake City that year. One of the main purposes of the convention is to speak against religions in the area, and go out and preach to them, try to convert them. Why would they be in Salt Lake, if not to preach against the Mormons? And yet Huckabee "doesn't know much" about them?
Then there's this business, again involving Huckabee and McCain, in the whole West Virginia delegate contest. In the first vote in WV, Romney came out ahead with 41% to Huckabee's 33. You need 50% to win, so they did a revote. But this time, McCain told his backers to throw in with Huckabee, to beat out Romney, which they did (by a mere 46 votes). Now you watch and see, cause I'm betting that McCain, if he wins the nomination, will give Huckabee some kind of kickback - naming him as his running mate, putting him in his cabinet, something. It just shows you this really is a two man race - Romney vs. everyone else banding together against him. And yes I'm leaving out Ron Paul, because everyone knows he doesn't have a prayer.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Death and Taxes

President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away this Sunday. I haven't ever spoken to him, I've stood near him once or twice, and I think he smiled at me as he walked out of the Conference Center once after the Light of the World presentation they put on some years back. But I think it's safe to say we were strangers. Yet his passing has affected me to a degree that few outside of family or close friends could. I find myself reliving those moments where I got to see him in person, remembering funny comments he made, or reviewing words of counsel he gave that particularly struck me. I know he was a prophet, but he was also (as much as a stranger could be, I guess) a friend. I felt the love and concern he had for everyone, in the church or out. He was a great example of the kind of person I want to be, and yet he made himself accessible - he talked about his struggle with loneliness after his beloved wife passed, and how he wished he could just sit in his rocking chair, taking his pills and enjoying his grandchildren, but that he was given a work to do. It was that duality, the prophet of God who was just an ordinary man, that made him stand out to me. General Conference won't be the same without him. But the work he carried on is still moving forward. There will be another prophet called, and he will be just as much a prophet as Pres. Hinckley was. I won't let myself be one of those who "dies" with the prophet. I'll remember him and the things he taught while keeping myself open to what the next prophet teaches as well.

On a lighter note, we're in our new house! All that's left to do is hang the pictures on the walls, and get rid of all the moving boxes, and we're officially settled in. Getting into the house was a LOT tougher than I thought - all the paperwork you have to sign, the costs involved, the sheer number of things that can go wrong in the signing process are enough to overwhelm you. The most frustrating part was having to rely on people to get things done, and have them drop the ball. Things like your lender getting the interest rate wrong a week before you're about to sign on the house can cause more than a little stress. But it's all done, and we make our first payment in about 4 weeks. That, plus the fact that our tax return will be a lot bigger than I had hoped for, and my mom was found to be cancer-free (there was a bit of scare last month) have been huge blessings. I just hope I can keep things this together when the baby comes in August. Ah, the joys of adulthood. :)